Discover more from Wordsmith Workshops, Retreats, and News
Synopses, Sales, and So Many Words
We've got so much happening, and we're so happy you're here with us!
Cristin and Beth just got back from our second retreat of the year, the Fast Drafting Retreat in Wimberly, TX! The location was simply *chef’s kiss* perfection—lovely rainy weather on the tin roof of the writing house, beautiful bluebells, and so friendly visiting puppies!
As with all our retreats, we had special goodies and focused programming for all attendees—and I have to say, our swag really is fantastic, and that’s not even included the workshop handouts catered to each event!
But this was a Fast Drafting retreat, which means the goal was to, well, draft a novel quickly. We had weeks of online programming leading up to the retreat so we could all hit the ground running.
This is the “party barn” where we all met for workshops and meals before scattering around the ranch to find quiet writing time.
We were aided, of course, by Minnie and Dolly, the resident pups who adored all the attention from authors who needed to pause from typing to give them some sctitches.
Cristin and Beth don’t work the writers too hard—there were breaks for s’mores, a ranch tradition! And Dolly only stole one dropped marshmallow, despite insisting that she’d never been fed once in her entire life.
In the end, however, we all came to write! So, how did we do?
Names cut off for privacy, and obviously everyone had different goals, but when you add up the totals for the long weekend, we wrote a combined total of more than 80,000 words.
MORE THAN EIGHTY THOUSAND WORDS!!!
I call that a fast drafting success!
If you’re interested in joining us for our next retreat, you’re currently in the very best place—subscribing to this newsletter is the second fastest way to get on board! Which reminds me, if you’ve not subscribed to the newsletter yet, please do so!
Thanks for reading Wordsmith Workshops, Retreats, and News! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Outside of this newsletter, the fastest way to join a retreat is to be a past attendee of a retreat—we always offers alumni first dibs on upcoming retreats once we book the locations and determine the programming.
Which brings me to a bit of a bummer for some of you: I mentioned before that we were going to host a retreat in Asheville, NC and visit the Biltmore House as a group, with a focus on setting and worldbuilding for our workshop. After some trials and tribulations (brides book retreats house up like lightning in the fall—leaves sure are popular!), we finally secured a location, opened the links up to alumni…
And it sold out in less than 24 hours.
We’ve never seen anything like it—it was like the Hunger Games as everyone scrambled for a spot! You can absolutely still join the waiting list to log on to that retreat, and we’ll be doing one more retreat in the fall (in a different location) after that, so it’s not final. But since we’d mentioned it here, I wanted to explain why Asheville’s no longer being advertised and what happened.
That said, we are looking to some additional new and exciting programming for next year! Even though the year’s not already halfway done, we can hear you loud and clear—you want more! Cristin and Beth are working hard on a really big idea for next year, and we’re going to tell you all about it as soon as we get things firmed up!
New Online Workshop: Writing the One Page Synopsis
Thanks to popular request, we have a new online video workshop with downloadable worksheet so you can complete it at your convenience, or do it over and over again as needed. This month’s video lesson is on writing a one-page synopsis, a skill that is dreaded by many despite being so universal! Agents often request a one-page, but self-published and traditional published authors will use them for press releases, contracting with conventions, information for film and subsidiary rights, and more. It’s one of those tools that you don’t need until suddenly you do—I’ve been caught at least twice with professionals asking me for a one page I simply had never made and had to rush to do so I didn’t look too unprofessional!
So, one-pages are important, but what do you include and what do you cut? How do you trim a story down from tens of thousands of words to just about 500?
That’s what this workshop is all about. You can buy it now for just $4.99, including the worksheet, or you can join Beth’s Patreon and get access to this and all past video workshops for a $5/month subscription.
Word Lab is BACK!
Join us in May for our regularly scheduled Word Lab! This is going to be a little extra focused as the Wordsmith Alums (should we just start calling y’all Smithies officially?) have teamed up for an impromptu “Camp Wordsmith”, and we’re all going to be frantically trying to build momentum and get drafts done before the summer. Whether you just want to track words or set an ambitious goal, Word Lab is popular for a reason, and we hope you drop in and join us!
Barnes & Noble Preorder Sale + Upcoming Live Event at Y’all West
If you’re online at all, you’ve definitely seen the Barnes and Noble Preorder sale, a semi-regular event where you can pre-order upcoming books for a 25% discount.
Beth’s upcoming YA Fantasy, Night of the Witch, is featured in this deal, so if you have room in your cart, please order! You only have until Friday to snag this special deal.
Also this weekend, Beth will be in Santa Monica, CA, for Y’All West! You can find the full schedule at the link, but there’s a really fun bonus event for attendees that I want to make sure everyone sees:
You can join us in making your own spell bundles and grab an ARC of the book!
If you miss it—there’s a lot happening at this book festival!—there’s still a chance to catch me here: